Tuesday, 27 November 2012

COMING SOON: A Magick Brothers live album

Australian poet and musician Daevid Allen, born in 1938, moved to Europe in 1960, inspired by the writings of the ‘Beat Generation’. After a year or so in Paris, he arrived in the UK in 1961. After meeting William Burroughs, and discovering the peculiar music and philosophy of free-jazz maverick Sun Ra, he formed The Daevid Allen trio with his landlady’s son Robert Wyatt.

Some years later they teamed up with Mike Ratledge and Kevin Ayers to form Soft Machine (William Burroughs’ name for the human body). After a European Tour in 1967, Allen was refused entry to the UK because of a visa irregularity, and moved back to France, where he became involved in the famous student insurrection of 1968. He then moved to Deya, Majorca where he, and partner Gilly Smyth began to assemble a loose-knit collection of musicians who began recording under the name Gong. One of these musicians was Didier Malherbe (latter dubbed Bloomdido Bad-De Grass by Daevid), a tremendously gifted saxophonist and flautist, who Daevid claimed to have found living in a cave on the estate of poet Robert Graves.

In 1971, in Daevid’s own words..."It was now three years since my deportation from the mum country so I was now able to legally re-enter England for the first time since 1967.” One of his first appearances when he returned to the UK, was a performance at a benefit concert at The Roundhouse in aid of Release. (Release was founded in 1967 by Caroline Coon and the late Rufus Harris. It is a charity which provides assistance to those people who have been charged with drugs offences. According to Wikipedia: “Today Release is the oldest independent drugs charity in the world and continues to provide a range of services dedicated to meeting the health, welfare and legal needs of drugs users and those who live and work with them”.)

As well as being vocalist, Daevid Allen plays acoustic guitars, glissando guitar, and - together with Graham Clark on violin and guitar, whom Daevid met in 1988 in London at the last concert of Invisible Opera Co., UK,, and Mark Robson on vocals and keyboards, didgeridoo, flute and Irish whistle – who spent much time in Australia with the Invisible Opera Co. and his own band Kangaroo Moon - they make up Magick Brothers (named after Gong’s 1969 album).

Magick Brothers’ acoustic format  provides what is perhaps the most organic setting for Daevid Allen’s surrealalchemical soundscapes.  This early live recording is a delightful insight into the  modus operandi of this lovely little ensemble.  The accompanying video footage makes this already desirable package unmissable!

The DVD comes out in January next year. Watch this space...

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